Intraoral x-rays are the most common type of x-ray. There are several types of intraoral x-rays. Each shows different aspects of the teeth. Bite x-rays are very common and are often taken for preventive purposes because they are a great way to see any cavities between the teeth or below the gum line.
The term bite comes from how patients must bite the X-ray film. These types of x-rays can be taken directly in the dental chair. Bite x-rays are also commonly used to locate the source of dental discomfort. Many modern dental offices no longer use films.
Instead, they use a sensor that sends the x-ray to the computer for the dentist to review. This makes the process a little faster because they don't have to develop the film. Bites show most of the tooth, but if the dentist needs to get a good look at the entire tooth or jaw, a periapical x-ray is a better option. This type of x-ray captures an image of the entire tooth, even just beyond the root of the tooth.
Occlusal x-rays are designed to capture what is happening inside the palate or the floor of the mouth, helping the dentist to see the full development and placement of the teeth. This can be used to find out why the teeth haven't come out yet or to detect supernumerary (additional) teeth, which can damage healthy permanent teeth. This type of x-ray can also be used to diagnose a fracture or a cleft palate. Cysts, abscesses, or hard-to-find growths can also be detected with an occlusal x-ray.
A panoramic x-ray uses a special machine that takes an image of all the upper and lower teeth. The result is a two-dimensional image of your mouth in 3D. If you have frequent complications or have had significant dental treatment in the past, your dentist may recommend a panoramic x-ray from time to time to make sure nothing is brewing. Panoramic radiography can be used as a common X-ray method and is often used in preparation for important dental procedures, such as the placement of braces.
Dentists also often use it to diagnose major complications, such as jaw tumors, cysts, and sinusitis. A cephalometric projection is an x-ray of one side of the entire head. It is commonly used by orthodontists, so they can see how the teeth and jaw fit together to better create a treatment plan that involves the entire mouth. Your dentist may also suggest this type of x-ray to diagnose any throat complications, such as lumps or cancer.
Finally, if you have sleep apnea, dentists usually help, but yours may first suggest a cephalometric projection to clearly see the structure of your throat and determine the cause of sleep apnea. CBCT radiographs, “computed tomography” or “cone beam x-rays”, are an imaging method that uses computer technology to convert two-dimensional images into a three-dimensional (3D) image. Compared to a traditional two-dimensional x-ray showing a flat image, the 3D image shows all dimensions and aspects of the teeth and surrounding bone. Digital x-rays are starting to replace traditional single-film x-rays because of ease of use, efficiency and, most importantly, the reduction in the amount of radiation needed and used.
Intraoral (meaning “inside the mouth”) is probably what you think of when you hear the term dental x-ray. Instead of showing X-ray film in a dark room, x-rays are sent directly to a computer and can be viewed on the screen, stored, or printed. It is a medical imaging technique that consists of an X-ray computed tomography in which the radiographs are diverging, forming a cone. Exposure to all sources of radiation, such as the sun, minerals in the earth, household appliances and dental x-rays, can damage tissues and cells in the body and cause the development of cancer.
While some people need x-rays more frequently, current guidelines require that x-rays be performed only when necessary for clinical diagnosis. Everyone who has been to the dentist has had dental x-rays at some point, either as part of their routine visit or to help diagnose a problem. Dental x-rays help dentists visualize diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam. .